The best way to predict the future is to… …create it!
using the Perception Dynamics approach
A project is all about creating a desired future state. The problem with all but the most simple projects is that there are so many issues that are critical to the ultimate success of the project, but which are not in the direct control of the project manager. Whilst this situation remains, the successful outcome of the project often remains very uncertain.
This means that, all too often, promising projects consume considerable time and resources, only to end in a situation where little real overall benefit has been created. The uncertainty of success of a project is particularly acute where the success is reliant on other people, or unproven processes. Project managers determined to achieve success, need to bring these areas of unacceptable uncertainty back within their control or influence as soon as possible.
The Perception Dynamics approach to Project Management addresses this problem head on. The whole focus of the Perception Dynamics approach is to maximise the certainty of success of any project or change, and to eliminate unacceptable uncertainty at the earliest possible stage.
In simple terms, most traditional approaches to project management identify where you are now, what future state you are trying to create, and what actions are necessary to create that project goal. Thus, the primary focus of many traditional project management approaches is the identification of the activities required and then the ordering of those activities, by starting at the current time and sequencing them in order of when the assumed outcomes will be required within the project.
By contrast, the Perception Dynamics approach works in the opposite way. It starts by identifying what aspects of the final outcome are critical to the success of the project. It plans backwards to identify exactly what intermediate outcomes are essential to the successful outcome of the project, and then sequences the necessary outcomes in order of how critical but uncertain those outcomes are. It then identifies how best to bring those issues that are most critical, but uncertain, back within the control or influence of the project manager.
In order to achieve this, the Perception Dynamics approach shows how to ensure that the various project stakeholders, both internal and external to the project operation, who are critical to reducing that uncertainty, take full ownership of supplying all the outcomes that are critical to the success of the project.
These ownership issues are not “add-ons” to the skills of the project manager. They are central to the whole process of project planning and implementation.